China Ponies Up $1B for Arrivo Hyperloop System
Arrivo is taking a different approach than other Hyperloop startups.
Just one day after Hyperloop Transportation Technologies announced plans to build a Hyperloop in China, another startup has confirmed that it will get Chinese backing. Arrivo has inked a deal with GTA, which is tied to Chinese state-owned corporation GENERTEC, for a $1 billion line of credit.
While the Hyperloop Transportation Technologies deal calls for building a Hyperloop along a specific route in China, the $1 billion from the Arrivo deal can be applied to any project worldwide that uses the startup's technology. Arrivo did not discuss where the funding might be used, although the startup has already partnered with the Colorado Department of Transportation to open a system in Denver by 2021.
Arrivo does things a bit differently than other Hyperloop startups. Rather than using pods in sealed tubes, as proposed in Elon Musk's original white paper, Arrivo has proposed using open sleds that operate on a magnetized track. The sleds may carry cars, similar to an idea Musk has proposed for his own Boring Company.
Because its system won't operate in a vacuum, Arrivo is forecasting lower speeds of about 200 mph. That's faster than any car will be able to do on the highway, but slower than the 700+ mph other startups have discussed for their systems. However, the open track will probably make dealing with emergencies less complicated. Arrivo also plans to build tracks along "existing transportation corridors," rather than along new rights of way, to keep costs down.
Arrivo was started by Brogan BamBrogan, a former SpaceX engineer who also founded the startup Hyperloop One. He was later ousted in a bitter legal fight. Hyperloop One has since attracted investment from Richard Branson's Virgin Group. Branson became chairman last year and the company was renamed Virgin Hyperloop One.